OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -Most economists have predicted that 2018 holiday shopping sales will increase by about 4.5 percent over last year. Two weeks into the shopping season, are those predictions holding true? We visited some stores to find out.
It seems like everyone is getting into the shopping mood these days. At the Ocean Springs Walmart, sales are brisk, according to manager Stacie Sutton.
“We’re seeing about 3 percent increase here, and it’s just going to go up from there. It’s going to get better, but we do see a lot of things being sold earlier this year," Sutton said.
Cash registers are popping open on a regular basis, but in retail, there is an ebb and flow.
”Thanksgiving was great for us," said store manager Cassie Strong. "It’s kind of slowed down now that schools back in, but everything is about to let out so we’re expecting great things.”
Downtown events hosted by the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce help the cause for store owner JoAnn Wheeler.
“We’ve got an open house going on this weekend in certain places. There is another street event going on next weekend. So I think people are going to start getting into the shopping mood, as long as it stays cold," she said.
At Christmas, there’s a certain sparkle to the holiday.
“We’ve seen steady sales," said jewelry store owner Cathy Shelton Reed. "We have a lot of custom designs working right now and special orders for folks, and it’s on an increase, better than last year already.”
Most polls taken in the past few weeks indicate that many Americans are ready to open up their wallets a bit more this Christmas season. That seems to be the case here on the Gulf Coast as well.
Joyce Spence was shopping for Christmas cards. She’ll probably spend more this year doting on the grandkids, with that certain something special.
“They’re a little too old for toys and stuff so they like gift certificates, gift cards. Money, that’s their favorite thing," she said.
That’s also a favorite thing for business owners.
The National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will spend about $720 billion during the holiday shopping season. Of that amount, about $125 billion will be spent online shopping.